A solid base of biomedical and basic molecular research in lung diseases has evolved at Tulane University. In 1992, as part of a campus wide strategic plan by Tulane to improve and modernize the lung research activities into the areas of cell and molecular pathobiology Drs. Mitchell Friedman (Principal Investigator) and Arnold Brody (Co-Principal Investigator) were recruited to Tulane University Medical Center. Dr. Friedman is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine at Tulane University Medical Center. Dr. Brody is currently Professor of Pathology, Vice Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Tulane and Director of the Tulalae Lung Biology Program. With the recruitment of Drs. Friedman and Brody a solid and highly competitive lung disease research program has evolved into the highly collaborative Lung Biology Program at Tulane University over the past seven years. The individual faculty members of the Lung Biology Program represent two departments in the Medical School (Medicine, Pathology and the total amount of all research awards to these investigators is approximately $3 million/year. Furthermore, critical interactive research programs have been developed between the Tulane Ltmg Biology Program and other research centers at Tulane including the Center for Gene Therapy, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Pharmacology, and thc Tulane Cancer Center. The total federal and non-federal monies awarded to the entire faculty on a yearly basis is now approximately $10,200,000 in direct costs. This research award level includes grants from the NIH, DoD, NIOSH, State of LA, associations, and foundations. As an example of productivity of the faculty, for 1998-2002, there have been approximately 113 publications in prestigious journals and numerous presentations at national and international meetings. The main research areas are in mechanisms of lung fibrosis, lung cancer, pulmonary circulation, asthma, COPD, gene therapy, and effects of inhaled toxicants on the lung and airway inflammation mechanisms. The rapid growth of research faculty and research projects in lung ceil and molecular pathobiology at Tulane since 1992 has also been associated with the development of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training activities. There are presently 23 trainees being mentored by the training faculty. The funding for these trainees are presently derived from individual faculty research grants and contracts, funding from the Tulane Molecular and Cell Biology Program and the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, and foundations and endowments. The Pulmonary, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine Section also provides training for 9 clinical fellows in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. The diversity of the training program is exemplified by the fact that of these trainees, 9 were female, 3 Black, 1 Native American and 7 Asian. The Training program faculty, since 1992, have had 64 post-doctoral trainees obtain academic faculty positions. The wide range of research activities at the cell and molecular level in lung disease, the track record of achievement and training by the faculty, the development of excellent research experience for our trainees, the productivity of the faculty and trainees as evidenced by their publication record and grant funding and the fact that a number of trainees have obtained faculty positions serve as the basis for the submission of this new T-32 training grant to offer funded formalized research training in lung cell and molecular pathobiology. The main objective of this proposal is to train highly-qualified post-doctoral students in basic mechanisms ef lung disease focusing on lung cell and molecular biology. Trainees in the Program, utilizing emerging technologies and new approaches, will acquire the necessary skills to design and conduct basic research studies in pathobiology. We have developed a formalized 2-year training program (a mentored laboratory research project and a formalized core curriculum) to prepare the trainees to develop a successful and independent academic career in research in lung biology.
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